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Taurus gains MIS licence to draw attention to South Island

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Property Syndicate specialist Taurus Management Limited has been granted a licence under the Financial Markets Conduct Act (2013) as a manager of Managed Investment Schemes (excluding managed funds) to primarily invest in, or own, real property in New Zealand (1). It says it aims to provide good opportunities for Investors mostly in the South Island.

The new licence gives the Christchurch based firm wider scope to offer Managed Investment Schemes to the public, in addition to the wholesale market. It is now one of two MIS licence holders in the South Island.

The company says it has seen an increasing amount of capital flow north to large high profile syndicates, but wants to provide alternative opportunities resulting in capital being retained in the South.

"We see this as complementary to the larger syndicate managers as the maximum individual property size we will manage is unlikely to be greater than $20 million," says David Kitson, Managing Director Taurus Management Limited.

"There are plenty of attractive opportunities in the South, with very good returns and security. And when it comes to syndicate investment, size does not necessarily matter - tenant profile, returns and security do, so it’s all about the opportunity.

"The syndicates we offer will always have fewer investors meaning we can continue to provide personal service where investors are bigger fish in a smaller pool. We know it builds confidence to have personal and direct access to the syndicate manager," he says.

In 2011, Taurus took over the scheme management of nine properties from the now liquidated SPI Group, and has almost completed the sell-down of these properties, distributing the proceeds back to investors. The experience has been invaluable, and David Kitson believes his accessibility and the personal communication with investors has helped enormously. This has also influenced the decision to keep new syndicates below $20 million, with fewer investors.

Taurus’s MIS licence has been awarded after a fifteen month application process and reflects changes in legislation under the Financial Markets Conduct Act (2013).

"This is huge endorsement for our business after a lot of hard work and shows Taurus meets the strict and necessary standards set by the legislation, as an issuer and manager of Property Managed Investment Schemes (MIS)," he says.

"Our ultimate aim is to attract eyes down to the South Island - a little bit of inter-island rivalry is good for business and investors," he says.

Achieving the licence has also meant Taurus realigning its business to ensure Taurus Management Limited can grow entirely separately to its sister company, Taurus Group Ltd, involved with Chartered Accounting and Capital sourcing. The new licence provides the opportunity for the company to start planning a wide-ranging portfolio in the mid-range boutique investment sector over the next five years.

Through the wholesale market, the Group recently settled on nine Childcare Centres, mostly in the South Island, and is currently undergoing due diligence on a tenth centre. The scheme will soon own properties with a value of $25 million.

More recently the Group settled on a 4,000 sqm factory and warehouse property in Dunedin, where a sale and lease back arrangement gave investors the opportunity to be part of a small boutique syndicate with a single very successful tenant. With monthly cash distributions of 8.5%, the syndicate compares very favourably with larger opportunities in the north.

Currently, due diligence is being completed on two further properties in Christchurch.

"There’s plenty coming up and while the South Island is our focus we are also considering forays into regional centres in the North Island, as long as the opportunity is right," David Kitson says.

The development of Taurus Management Limited’s offering has also meant additions to the team including Charlie Goodwin as non-Executive Director, a highly experienced commercial property and investment specialist. Other members of the team are Michael Kohing as CFO and Andrew Dorgan as Manager, Distribution.

Taurus Group was established in Christchurch in 1995 and began as a Business Advisory and Corporate Finance operation, merging with a Chartered Accountancy practice in 2000.

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